Mon, 22 Aug 1994

Convoy: Is it so important?

From Republika

On July 21, 1994 at about 12.45 a police car was blaring its siren while passing Jl. Pattimura in Pontianak, West Kalimantan. Dozens of policemen were busy regulating the traffic on that particular road. Actually the traffic was not so heavy. Traffic had to stop at the side of the road while a convoy escorting a high ranking police officer from the police headquarters passed.

It seemed that the presence of the particular police officer had made everyone busy. I was not aware in what context this police officer came to visit Pontianak. But I couldn't help asking myself: How could this particular VIP be so different from previous ministers? I bow in respect to some former ministers like Rudini, Fuad Hasan, Emil Salim and other ministers who were very popular and people-oriented. These ministers did not expect to be accorded grand welcomes with very tight security precautions which in fact only reflects feudalism, and a waste of money. The practice of welcoming a high ranking officer in such a way gives the impression that the police officer concerned is arrogant and likes to distance himself from the general public.

It would benefit the people more if the fuel used for the convoy was utilized for more realistic things which surely would be of greater benefit to the people. It was also shameful for some local officials to borrow private cars to be used for sight seeing, and the hotel bills were borne by the society.

In this context I would like to suggest to the police, which is part of the society, to be modest considering that West Kalimantan is the third poorest province in this country. Also I sincerely hope that police personnel will always uphold their noble task of serving the people. Many policemen are not doing their job in compliance with traffic laws, and very often they confiscate drivers' licenses without any paper supporting the act.

It is no secret that scalpers are still rampant in the police office where people have to obtain vehicular documents. And the doers are none but the police personnel themselves. As well I was told that one has to pay some amount of levy when reporting theft cases or other crimes. The motto hung on the wall: I am determined to give the best service and will never hurt the people proves to be an empty slogan. This is the great challenge that is facing the police who should stick to professionalism.



W. Kalimantan